The Middle Ages

500-1500 A.D. Nate Walczyk

Role of Feudalism

Feudalism was the most widely used social system in medieval Europe. In feudalism, the lords held lands from the King or Queen in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the lord, while the serfs, which were the lowest of the low, were obliged to live on their lord's land and give him labor and a share of the produce in exchange for military protection.
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The Manor System

A manor was the land given to vassals by their lords. Sometimes called a fief, a vassal was anybody that owned land. For example, if someone gave land to a serf, that serf would now be a vassal. If they gave away part of that land, they would be a lord.

The Medieval Knight

Knights were extremely important in the middle ages. As part of the feudal system, lords would give knights land in return for protection. These knights would also get food and loyalty from serfs, and would also protect them in exchange. In wars, knights were also an extremely important part of war and history itself. They were innovative, as they were fully protected by metal. However, they were very slow, and became irrelevant once the longbow was created.

Technology of Feudal Warfare

Technology had many major leaps during the feudal warfare time period. The most important advancement being the longbow (pictured), which allowed soldiers to shoot lethal arrows through the armor of a feudal knight. With anywhere between 10 and 15 arrows a minute being able to be fired, the longbow was considered the machine gun of the middle ages.

The Catholic Church

The catholic church was a major part of society in the middle ages. It consisted of a clergy which had Bishops and Priests, and was led by a pope. The church was mostly secular, which meant that it was involved in everything, including social life and politics. Every medieval catholic was subject to canon law, or church law. This law included everything, from marriage to religious practices. The church was a huge part of the middle ages

The Crusades

The age of faith also inspired wars of conquest. There were four major crusades, but there was a total of nine. The crusades took place in the holy land (Israel and Jerusalem)

In the first crusade, Christians won. They divided it into 4 sections.

In the second major crusade, nothing was captured or lost.

In the third major crusade, it ended in a truce. Jerusalem stayed under muslim control.

The fourth major crusade had no necessarily important victories, but was still important. Thousands of children felt that they were called by the lord, and went to fight. The majority of the kids were never heard of again.

A change in politics.

After the crusades and the hundred years wars, England's government became a lot more democratic, and wasn't ruled as much by just one person

The Hundred Years War

After the french king died, there was no one to fill his spot. This led to a war lasting over 100 years.

The war cost France many lives, and a lot of money and property, while increasing the power and prestige of the french monarch. It caused internal turmoil in England, while strengthening it's parliament.


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